A beautiful Sulpher Springs Mare, a descendant from the first round up in the Sulpher Springs HMA in Utah back in the 90's. These horses carry powerful DNA similar to the primitive Iberian horses the Sorria. The HMA is known for harsh and rugged terrain, the horses although smaller in stature are hardy, strong and distinctively Spanish with strong leg markings and dorsal stripes.While out with this herd on their hundreds of protected acres in South Dakotas Black Hills, this mare, whom at first glance, I thought to be a stallion, had a presence of strength, wisdom and vigilance. Like the protective stallions in the wild, every time I looked up, turned around or moved through the herd I would find her near me. She represents so much strength yet the vulnerability to the timely and pressing issue these horses arefacing...extinction...their Freedom Vanishing.
"Her clear amber eyes reflect a wisdom older than mankind. The mare's finely chiseled grulla head is far superior to thin porcelain. The ancestry of her family transcends the oceans to primitive time in Portugal over 500 years ago. Brought to the New World in sailing ships seeking gold. These horseswere left behind to survive with others of her kind in the rugged Utah mountain ranges". Susan Watt, director, BHWHSHer eyes were the most magnificent beauty to gaze into, the color diving me deeper into her soul, washing away all worry. A portal to look further at my thoughts, my truth, my vision. She carries the essence of a shaman, a healing strength and wisdom that was passed down from her family upbringing...and the elements of mother nature she learned in the wild.
"...once again, I am awe struck at her beauty, from every angle, in every frame...she embodies wisdom, grace and a dignity only found in wildness..." kc
A rare chance to get this view of a wild horse, only in sanctuary is this possible. For that I am grateful, for her to be comfortable enough for me to acquire this perspective.
“Horses are social creatures. They physically and psychologically ‘need’ each other. They are not meant to live alone, separated from each other and what is natural to them. Graceful images such as this are common amongst horsesin the wild. The herd is family, nap time generally comes in late morning or early afternoon when the fear of predators is lessened. Horses keep alert during evening hours and during that time they only let the young sleep. Often they’ll form a circle around the sleeping youngsters to protect them.”
In nature nothing exists alone. Rachel Carson
This beautiful mare has a painful past that has now been washed away by the courtesy and kindness of the Black Hills wild horse sanctuary. She will live her days here, roaming with her new herd family, never again to see abuse, starvation or inhumane treatment by the hand of “human”. Watching her asshe stood her ground amongst a herd, she was a no nonsense dame, she had the heart of the leader in the herd, and claimed her space well. She pushed others aside once this soft sandy patch of dirt was discovered and rolled, and rolled, and rolled...when she got up and shook for what seemed like forever she had the essence of a Rockstar...Wild, Sexy and Free, I should have named her "Janis" ~
"...a stallion possesses an undeniable power, unrestrained, unrestricted and most certainly desired."
This image is featured in the Archer Hotels King Suites room in Austin Texas. Along with a mural that follows up their grand staircase from the lobby.
"...horses spent 95% of their time 'on point', aware of the world around them, focused and direct...they don't lose sight of the fact that they are prey animals...and although at times increasingingly playful, they are a tuned to each and every minute, sensitive to the ever changing environment in which they live."
The soft and neutral colors of the rare and stunning Sulpher Springs Mustangs originally from a region in Utah, were the inspiration for some of the images in this collection. Wanting to reveal their smokey warm palette. In essence some of my most favorite tonalities in the color spectrum.
You will often see this scene around young foals or older mares in the wild. Taking the protection of their herd very seriously.
Do unto others as you would have done onto you.
Their desire to not be alone-consistely revealed.
Sometimes the king is a woman.
Unique colors, considered "champagne", these rescued mustangs were still very much wild in their life. Allowed to live on thousands of acres in this protected sanctuary.
There isn't a more peaceful contemplative time of day to me. This is my sanctuary.
Family matters to them.
Within in the BLMs adoption program there is something called a 3 strikes horse. This is a horse that has been up for adoption, and to no fault of their own were not adopted. They are branded with the large "U" and become "sales authority" horses and are offered to anyone for a low price and immediate release of ownership. These horses stand very little chance of again being seen by the public and offered up for adoption. Without sanctuary they generally stand very little chance of ever being adopted.
Watching the elders teach their young is fascinating. It is integral to their learning and foundational skills as a horse. This is something we take away from our domesticated horses entirely too soon, and most never get to have time spent with the stallion. I see it everyday in my day to day horse life and have a terribly hard time with it. Year after year, bred foal after bred foal by the hands of man.
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